Expedition to Santa Fé. An Account of Its Journey
From Texas Through Mexico with Particulars of Its Capture.
The following is transcribed from Letters and Notes on the Santa Fé Expedition 1841-1842 by Thomas Falconer (with introduction and notes by F.W. Hodge). According to the New Handbook of Texas, Thomas Falconer (1805-1882) was an English jurist and adventurer:
The following account of the march of the Santa Fé Expedition, has been prepared especially for this paper [The New Orleans Picayune] by Mr. THOS. FALCONER, a gentleman who accompanied the expedition its entire march.
We left Austin on the 18th of June, 1841, for the camp at Brushy, about twelve miles off.---At this place we found the expedition to Santa Fé, prepared to start. It consisted of a military force---of the merchants, and of others who had joined the expedition for the purposes of pleasure and of information---and of the commissioners. The military force was divided into six companies, under the following commands:-1st. Capt. Sutton, Lieuts. Johnson and Burgess; 2d. Capt. Houghton, Lieuts. Hornsby and Bratton; 3d. Capt. Strain, Lieuts. Hull (dead) and Casey; 4th. (Artillery.) Capt. Lewis, Lieuts. Hann and Munson; 5th. (Gonzales.) Capt. Caldwell, Lieuts. Brown and Henry; 6th. (Houston.) Capt. Hudson, Lieuts. Lubbock and Ostrander. This force amounted to 270 men, and had one cannon. The merchants were principally from San Antonio de Bexar, and the names of the majority were, G. T. Howard, John Howard, Archibald Fitzgerald, Thompson Robinson, P. A. Sully, Peter Gallager, J. Sniveley, T. Buchanan, F. Torrey, and J. Houghtaling. There were invited, as guests, Messrs. Thomas Falconer, G. W. Kendall, F. Coombs, and Robert Scott. The commissioners, whose duty, it was understood, was to treat with the inhabitants of New Mexico upon matters of trade, were Col. G. W. Cooke, Señor J. Antonio Navarro, and Dr. Brenham. The secretary of the commissioners was Mr. George F. X. Van Ness. Gen. McLeod had the command of the military force, subject to the orders of the commissioners. Maj. Bennet acted as Quarter-Master; Lieut. Holliday acted as Commissary, and Lieut. Alexander as Assistant. All the men were mounted, and were well provided with blankets and clothing. There were fourteen waggons laden with the goods of merchants, two waggons containing the property of Gen. McLeod, the commissioners and the guests, and a doctor's wagon for the sick. Each of the military companies, also, had a baggage wagon. The wagons were drawn by six to eight pair of oxen, and the cannon by mules.
The expedition marched upon June 21, and reached the San Gabrielle in the evening. Its probable fortune was little canvassed. It had been stated that it had been invited by the inhabitants of New Mexico, whose commissioners had been Messrs. Dryden and Rowland. These persons were named joint commissioners with three already mentioned. They were resident in Mexico, and commissions addressed to them were to the secretary.---No inquiry was made, what the instructions of the commissioners, or what were specific duties which they had to perform. All that was necessary for success, it was assumed, was prepared. The merchants felt, no doubt, that they would find favorable market for their goods, that they would be peaceably received, and would be allowed to trade without interruption. That their position was precarious did not appear to be imagined by any, or that goods entering Mexico from Texas were liable to confiscation. All were confident and satisfied.
Nor was it asked if the expedition was politic or not. That it might excite the Mexicans to renew hostilities against Texas was not presumed. It was alleged to have been invited by the people of Santa Fé, and this was sufficient to remove all fear of its result. The opinion of the people of New Mexico was said to have been correctly represented, and to have been that of the towns of the Rio Grande.---Peace virtually existed between the two countries. There was no preparation to invade Texas, and there was no reason to expect that its further settlement would be disturbed. The intervention of England to obtain its recognition had been offered, and it was not expected that it would be rejected by the government of Mexico. Commissioners, also, from Mexico, sent by Gen. Arista were in Texas at this time. The expedition was determined on, and future events must prove the influence it has had upon the fortunes of the country.
The course of the route taken was to the north-west. The surveyor who directed it was Mr. Hunt, subject to the guidance of Mr. Howland. It was intended to strike Red river, and, after crossing it, to reach the Canadian and get upon the Missouri trail. After passing the Angusturas, the road to San Miguel and Santa Fé would be open. Had not this intention been interrupted, the expedition, as events proved, must have been broken up before it reached the Canadian. The shortest route is from the head of the San Saba to the river Puerco and then, on the line of the river, to San Miguel. If a guide had been obtained from the Rio Grande, this route would have been practicable, and there were many Mexicans competent and willing to point it out.
A few days after starting the cattle were considered not to be sufficiently numerous, and that provisions would fail if more were not obtained. We started with forty oxen, independent of the work oxen, and thirty more were added; but even after the original supply was thought to be too small, there was little economy practised. When in the buffalo range, and thousands of these noble animals blackened the prairie, beef was distributed, as if the meat of buffaloes was unpreferred or offensive. The march was continued many days, with occasional halts for the repair of the wagons, through some interesting districts, and without any important interruption. Upon the 8th of August, a Mexican of the name of Carlos, who, it is said, has since been killed at Santa Fé, stated that he recognised the places which we had lately passed, and could guide us to the Angusturas. There were many reasons to believe him, and it was determined to entrust to him the guidance of the party. Whatever was his subsequent conduct---however improper, or even criminal---this step certainly saved us from many sufferings, if not from starvation. It was thought at this time that we were nearer to Santa Fé than we really were, and little credit was given to calculations opposed to this opinion. On the 11th of August, therefore, Messrs. Howland, Baker and Rosenberry were, in consequence of this arrangement, directed to take on letters to Santa Fé, in the belief that they would reach that town in a few days. They carried with them the proclamation of General Lamar to the people of New Mexico, which was this day for the first time shown to some of the officers and men.
On the 15th, Carlos, after having exhibited much knowledge of the character of the country, and especially of the course of the ravines and broken ground which for a time threatened to stop our march, left us with an Italian of the name of Brignoli. They deserted in the morning, soon after the companies were formed. On the 23d the Indians first interfered with us. They took the horses of Dr. Brenham, Mr. Falconer, and two others. The night was dark and rainy, but an abandoned bow, foot-tracks, and the trail of horses, told us who were hovering near. Upon the 28th we reached the river Quintufue, a branch of the Palo Duro, and a tributary of Red River. It was a small but fine stream of water, occupying a narrow portion of a wide sandy bed, which, at times, it appeared to fill. The moment we came to it, a very large and fresh trail of Indians was observed. Shortly afterwards a camp was discovered, left in much disorder; and tent poles and dried meat proved how recent had been the alarm in it. Half an hour before sunset it was reported that the prairie was covered with Indians. A flag of truce was ordered to be taken out, but it was nearly dark before the party taking it started; and they failed to effect their object. The next day our progress was checked by a ravine of immense depth, terminating the side of the table land we were upon. We fell back, and camped at a small water hole in the middle of the prairie. On the 3oth, a short distance from camp, and while in search of water, a large body of Indians attacked Lieut. Hull, Capt. Dunn, Mayby, Woodson, and another man. Two of the party were armed with Colt's guns and many shots were fired. But before any assistance could be rendered, all the five were killed, scalped, stripped and mutilated. The heart of Mayby was cut out. When the Mexican guides subsequently came to us, they said that the Indians were Cayguas [Kiowa], ten of whom and a distinguished chief had been killed. They had met the Indians going up the country in great haste and alarm, and the faces of the women were torn with thorns in sign of mourning for their loss. Lieut. Hull was the only child of Maj. Gen. Trevor Hull, Colonel of the 62d British Regiment, and grandson of judge Dawson, one of the judges of the Supreme Court of Jamaica. He was the principal proprietor of the town of Lamar. He was much respected, and his conduct was always honorable and decorous.
Our provisions were at this time nearly exhausted. The dried meat, coffee, sugar and salt had been consumed. The rations of fresh meat had been reduced to one pound and a half to each man, and there were many complaints. The men were dispirited, and many thought a wrong course had been taken, and that further attempts to proceed ought to be discontinued. On the 30th it was determined that General McLeod should remain on the river Quintufue with part of the force and the wagons; and that a division of 87 men, under the command of Capt. Sutton, should proceed forward to San Miguel, and as soon as possible send back guides with provisions. Col. Cooke, Dr. Brenham, and Messrs. Kendall, Fitzgerald and Howard joined the party, which, including the military and civilians, amounted to 95 men. The next day they dried rations of beef sufficient, it was thought, for seven days, and started in the evening. After Col. Cooke left, the position of the camp was changed, and we moved about a mile higher up the stream. The wagons were brought into a square, within which the cattle were herded at night, and the companies formed round them. On the morning of September 4th, at about half-past 8 o'clock, there was an alarm of Indians. In a few minutes they were seen driving off all our cattle and 83 horses.---They were soon out of sight of the camp, but a pursuit was made, and the cattle only were recovered back. Seventy-three men were, in consequence of this loss, compelled to march on foot. Raymond a Mexican, was on this occasion killed and scalped, and a few days afterwards Glasse met with the same fate. Mercer, who joined us from the Brazos, was speared and died after lingering some time. Four other men who were out on the 30th never returned, and were no doubt killed.
Upon the 17th, Martias, a Mexican in the service of Col. Cooke, arrived, in company with three guides, who were received with great joy. Gen. McLeod was directed to bring on the goods of the merchants, but to destroy as many of the wagons and as much of the baggage as could be spared. Provisions were promised in a few days. Orders were immediately given to prepare to march the next day. Every thing was repacked, much worthless stuff burnt, and five wagons were abandoned. It had been determined, if no tidings had been received of Col. Cooke on the 20th, to have broken up all the wagons, to have destroyed the goods of the merchants, and to have attempted to make our way back to Austin. The march re-commenced Sept. 18. The guides knew the country perfectly, and conducted us across some broken ground with much skill and with a thorough knowledge of the road. Upon the 22d, no news having reached us of Col. Cooke, and no provisions having arrived, Capt. Caldwell, with nine men and one of the guides, were directed to proceed to the Puerta or descent from the grand prairie on which we were travelling, and to make their way to San Miguel. They were to return as soon as possible, the guides stating that they could reach that town in three days.
When we came to the Arroyo del Monte de Revuelto, (Oct. 1st,) nothing having been heard of Col. Cooke or Capt. Caldwell, another party, consisting of Lieut. Burgess and Messrs. Scott, John Howard, Martias [Matias] the Mexican, and another of the guides, was sent forward. They were not to enter San Miguel, but were to collect information of the former parties, and to return. It was on the 4th of October that our progress was interrupted by the Mexicans. We had left the Arroyo de Tuncuncarie a few hours, when two Mexicans, well armed, rode up.--Their story was a tissue of falsehoods, and was utterly disbelieved. They stated that they knew nothing whatever of Col. Cooke's party, nor of Capt. Caldwell, or Lieut. Burgess; that they had been expecting us several days at the Angusturas [Angosturas], and hearing of the route we had taken, had the day before arrived at the Lagune [Laguna] Colorada, where there was a force under the command of Col. Archilayte, but that our journey would not be interrupted, if our arms were deposited according to the practice observed when foreigners entered the country. We did not reach the lake until sunset, and then camped in the midst of sand, much to the left of the road. The Mexicans were camped out of sight behind the brow of some rising ground, and off the road; having a high ridge of rock, nearly perpendicular, on their left, and the lake upon their right. Large and high masses of stone, capable of covering a large body of men, lay on their left and in front, and close to the road. Shortly after we had halted, General McLeod, Signor [Señor] Navarro and Dr. Whittaker, with an interpreter, very imperfectly acquainted with the Spanish language, met Col. Archilayte and some Mexican officers, by appointment, about half way between the two camps. A demand was made that the arms of the Texans should be surrendered, and in case this was complied with, provisions and good treatment were promised. Information of Col. Cooke and the former parties was asked, but no satisfactory answer could be obtained.
Upon the return of Gen. McLeod the officers were assembled. Gen. McLeod stated that he was of opinion that the Mexicans should be opposed. He would not fire the first shot, but would move on with the wagons in the morning and meet any obstruction with resistance. Time was asked to consider the subject, and the resolution was to be communicated the next morning. The men were at this time in a very feeble and distressed state. Those without horses were fatigued and exhausted, as well from the length of their journey as from want of food. Many even had thrown away their rifles and were without arms. There were only fifty rounds of cartridge to a man, made up, and powder for about fifty rounds to a man more. It was observed that if Colonel Cooke's party, which was well mounted, had failed to be able to advance, this party had less power to proceed. It was impossible to retreat, for it would be necessary to recross a perfectly flat open prairie, that had already occupied from Sept. 19 to Sept. 28 to pass, without a single shrub on it, except some few poplars in the almost dry bed of the river Escaravedra. How could the few cattle that remained be protected from attacks of cavalry? Though there were only go men at this time capable of efficient service, little doubt was entertained that the party before us could be defeated; but even then it would have been impracticable to march on to Santa Fé and occupy it. What, also, was to be done with the sick? The want of salt had caused much illness and infirmity, and the number of the sick was likely to increase. The guide said it would be five days' journey to San Miguel; from the Lagune [Laguna] Colorada to Parajito, one day; to El Cuervo, two; Las Esterros and Rio Galena, three; Ticoloti, four; and Los Huevos de Vernal and San Miguel, five. The horses remaining were the worst that had belonged to us, and unfit to follow up any success, more especially along an unknown road and over an unexplored country. The opinion communicated to Gen. McLeod was, that a surrender was inevitable; but that before made, satisfactory information should be given of the fate of Col. Cooke and his companions. On the morning of the 5th, General McLeod, Señor Navarro and some others, met Col. Archilayte, and a surrender was agreed on. The position of Col. Cooke's party was kept secret. A written agreement, signed by the officers on both sides, was drawn up, and every formality which should entitle the men to the privileges of war was observed. It also, in distinct terms, guaranteed the life of Señor Navarro. In the afternoon the companies were called out, and their rifles discharged and laid upon the Mexican camp, a really well mounted and armed body of Mexicans arrived. On the morning of the 6th, we started under a Mexican guard, and the next morning at Parajito [i.e., Pajarito], General McLeod showed the following letter to Señor Navarro, which had been given to him by Col. Archilayte:
There are some expressions in this letter which it is difficult to understand; but the obscurities must remain as they appear, the translation being perfectly literal. Upon arriving at Parajito, on the evening of the 6th, abundance of provisions were distributed. A considerable number of sheep were killed, and there was every appearance of sincerity and good faith in the promises that had been made. The next day it was arranged that General McLeod, Señor Navarro, the officers, and Mr. Falconer should proceed to San Miguel, leaving the merchants and the soldiers to follow with the waggons. The Mexican officers stated that our personal baggage would not be disturbed, and that it was not necessary to carry more articles than were immediately required for our use; but what we left behind we never saw again. We reached the [Arroyo del] Cuervo at noon, and, after a tedious ride, the Los Esterros after sunset. On the morning of the 8th, as we came towards the camp of General Armigo, we met the Governor's interpreter. He asked for the pocket-knives of the officers, and agreed to take faithful charge of some small bundles of clothing, which he afterwards held in his own exclusive possession, notwithstanding the remonstrance subsequently made to the Governor's secretary, and his promise that the articles should be restored. General Armigo us that we should have an interview with Gen. Armigo, and unless Capt. Lewis was charged with some message which he failed to deliver, he had no reason to visit us, unless to gratify a malignant spirit. In the evening we reached Anthon Chico and the next day, after a long ride, the town of San Miguel. On the last day we came to a cañada or valley called Cuesta, on the side of the river Puerco, entering a pretty settlement, the houses of which were in good condition, the fields apportioned out with much regularity, subject to irrigation and walled in. However great had been the pleasure and excitement of the forest and of the prairie, these signs of civilization and of a settled society were wonderfully charming.
In San Miguel we were quartered in one of the houses of the public square. We soon discovered Messrs. Fitzgerald, Van Ness, Kendall and Howard, watching us from the porch of another house on our left. The men did not reach San Miguel until the 12th. By the terms of the surrender, their condition was not to be changed until their arrival at this place. When, however, they reached the Galenas [Gallinas], they were tied and stripped of their coats, waistcoats and their second blankets were taken from them. The things taken were distributed in the presence of Gen. Armigo himself, among the Indians and some of the militia. The men remained tied the whole of the next day (Sunday) and many expected that they were to be shot. Upon the 12th, also, Gen. Armigo arrived, and in consequence of an application of his secretary for a list of the names and rank of the different persons in the expedition, General McLeod addressed to him the following letter:
No reply was made to this letter, and no list of the officers and men was furnished. Upon the 16th Capt. Strain, Lieuts. Holliday, Hann, Alexander and Bratton, with Mr. Falconer, were moved to the quarters of the Texan soldiers. In the course of the morning Gen. McLeod, the other officers with him and Señ. Navarro, left San Miguel for Paso in the charge of Lieut. Quintana. They were well treated upon the road and had no cause of complaint. They were mounted, and performed the journey without difficulty. Upon the 17th, Capt. Strain, the other officers, the merchants and soldiers were formed in line, in the square. They were shortly afterwards joined by Capt. Caldwell and his party, by Lieut. Burgess and his party, and then by Messrs. Kendall, Van Ness, Fitzgerald and Howard. All these parties had been separately confined; the last from Sept. 17---When Capt. Caldwell was seen, the line was immediately broken, and many cried out and ran forward to congratulate him upon his safety. Capt. Caldwell and his men had been taken near San Miguel. Late in the evening, when engaged in cooking, they were surrounded. Resistance was impossible and they were compelled to surrender. They were stripped of their coats and waistcoats, and their money was taken from them. The age of Capt. Caldwell did not protect him from this unmanly treatment. Lieut. Burgess and his companions were taken near the Lagune [Laguna] Colorada, the night after they left us. They also were stripped of their coats and deprived of their money.
To explain the adventures of Kendall and of those with him, it is necessary to return to the time at which Col. Cooke left us. The course they took was to the north-west, being too much to the north. After passing that most remarkable table land, the Grand Prairie, they came into a broken and rough country, and found the greatest difficulties opposed to their progress. They had taken provisions calculated to last seven days, but which were exhausted in five. They became greatly distressed for food, and were compelled to kill one of their horses, the flesh of which with wild plumbs [plums] and grapes, were for a time, their only subsistence. The men paid deserved respect to Capt. Sutton, and behaved admirably well. After passing the Rio Escaravedra and the Rio Boneta, they reached the Moro. Here they fell in with some Mexicans who had been trading with the Indians. They represented the distance to San Miguel to be eighty miles, and three of them consented to accompany Martias [Matias] to Gen. McLeod. About the same time Carlos and Brignoli were seen. Unfortunately they were not stopped. They found means to reach San Miguel first, and to give exaggerated and injurious accounts of the purposes of the expedition.
After despatching the guides, with directions to Gen. McLeod to destroy as many of the wagons as possible, and to bring on the goods of the merchants, Col. Cooke proceeded to the Galenas [Gallinas], which he reached upon the 13th.---Here they fell in with 17,000 head of sheep, and were enabled to purchase abundance of food. The next day Messrs. Van Ness, Fitzgerald, Howard and Capt. Lewis, were sent forward to San Miguel to obtain supplies for the division left with Gen. McLeod. They were accompanied by Mr. Kendall. Col. Cooke knew that he [Kendall] had a passport, and believed that if any hostilities occurred, it would protect him from ill treatment, and that he would be able to separate him from the rest of the party. He was not subject to military orders, and having no goods he was not trading contrary to any fiscal law of Mexico. When this party reached Cuesta, they met a military force of about ninety men. A white flag was immediately exhibited, and they were assured that it would be respected. This assurance was not fulfilled. They were made prisoners, and twelve soldiers were brought forward in order to shoot them. Fortunately this atrocity was prevented. One of the Mexican officers strongly remonstrated with Capt. D. Salazar against it, and the soldiers were withdrawn. They were taken that night to San Miguel. The next day they were removed to Pagos, Mr. Van Ness and Mr. Fitzgerald being tied together and compelled to walk---the rest being permitted to ride. At Pagos they were brought before Gen. Armigo. Captain Lewis stated that they were American traders from Red River. He was immediately interrupted by Mr. Van Ness, who said, "No, sir, we are Texans." Gen. Armigo then took hold of one of the buttons of the coat of Capt. Lewis, which had on it a star and the word "Texas," and asked him "if he took him for a fool, and if he supposed that he did not know the button." They were shortly afterwards ordered back to San Miguel. Capt. Lewis was separated from them, and found an opportunity to conciliate the favor of Gen. Armigo. The next day, the 17th, Messrs. Howland and Baker were brought before them, and required to say who they were. They told their names, and confirmed what had already been said by Mr. Van Ness. Howland and Baker were then taken to the upper end of the square, and bandages were put over their eyes. They were compelled to kneel down, and were shot in the back. They were aware of their fate, and showed a manly firmness. In recognizing their companions, and in speaking the truth, they aided them in a way that no falsehood could have done. They made no effort to save their own lives by treachery, nor did they attempt to evade their bitter fortune by any dishonorable concession or any act of cowardice.
Rosenberry ineffectually resisted, and was killed when his friends were taken. Upon the 15th, the day after Mr. Van Ness left, Col. Cooke reached Anthon Chico, on the Pagos or Puerco, about twenty miles from San Miguel. The Mexicans occupied a ranche upon the other side of the river. An officer came forward and stated that Gen. Armigo with a large military force was near, and that he was sent to ascertain their objects, to stop their march, and to require them to lay down their arms. The Commissioners represented their objects to be peaceable, and desired information, before anything could be agreed to, of Mr. Van Ness and his party. On the 16th there was another interview, and the officer was told that unless news was received of Mr. Van Ness, the division would proceed to San Miguel. On the 17th the Mexicans commenced crossing the river about half a mile below the Texans, and took up a position in front and on the left flank with three hundred men. Soon afterwards another body crossed the river above.---Captain Sutton occupied a strong position, and prepared for an engagement. At this moment Captain Lewis and Don M. Chavres came up. They said that Van Ness and the rest were at Santa Fé, under no restraint; that supplies would be furnished; that the private property of all would be respected, but that the arms must be surrendered, and would be returned when they left New Mexico. Captain Lewis reported the Mexican force to be numerous and well armed-a large body being under the immediate command of General Armigo. This remark ought to have excited much distrust.---But the extent of the treachery of Captain Lewis was not suspected. He had done nothing upon the journey to create any suspicion, and perfect confidence was entertained of his honor and good faith. There was also at that time a willingness to give credit to favorable news, and a general expectation of a peaceable reception at Santa Fé. Capt. Sutton, however, desired to effect a junction with Genl. McLeod's division. He was in the neighborhood of abundant supplies, and could, perhaps, have maintained the road. Had this been done, there would have been no surrender. An error was committed, and the arms were given up. The force became prisoners, and was marched to Paso, without going through San Miguel. No information was communicated to them of the fate of Kendall, &c., and for a long time they were believed to have been shot.
This is the story, and "tis a bad one to tell," of the capture of the two divisions. Could the road to General McLeod have been maintained, and a junction of the two parties effected, we could have collected provisions, and, after destroying the wagons, have crossed to the Missouri trail which was close to San Miguel, and have easily made our way into the States. We must now return to Kendall, standing in line with us, in the square of San Miguel, prepared for a long pilgrimage to Mexico, carrying his staff and water gourd. Shortly after forming, the guard of regular troops was withdrawn, and we were turned over to the unmerciful care of Captain Don Demasio Salazar. On the evening of the 23rd, we reached Valencia. The next morning a man of the name of Ernest died from exhaustion. He had suffered much from the long marches of the previous days. His ears we[re] cut off, to be presented, by our captain [Salazar], to his superior officer, as evidence that the man had not escaped; and this barbarous practice occurred in every instance, on the road, either of natural death or of murder. About a mile from Valencia, a volunteer of the name of McAlister was shot. He was lame, and unable, from fatigue and exhaustion, to walk at the same pace as most of the other men. Capt. Demasio Salazar, who had charge of the party, called Mr. Van Ness to him and directed him to go to the rear, and to inform all who were behind that if they did not immediately overtake the other prisoners they would be shot; and that he had ordered a sergeant and four men to the rear for this purpose. When Mr. Van Ness was in the act of complying, and had not repeated the whole order, the sergeant and his men came up. The sergeant asked McAlister, "Why he did not go faster?" He replied, "I am not able, for my feet are very sore." He was almost instantly shot through the head. His blankets and pantaloons were taken from him, and his body was left on the road.
Upon the 30th of October we reached Fray Cristoval, a camping-place on the Rio Grande: There is no house or settlement near it. A strong "norther" blew during the day, and at night there was a severe snow-storm. None of us had more than one blanket, in addition to our light clothing, and we suffered much. In the morning there was more than two inches of snow upon us. We commenced, in the afternoon, the march of the Grand Jornada, it is so called, on account of its distance, and the difficulty with which it is performed. There is no water to be obtained on the road. We moved off at noon of the 31st, and our march continued throughout the night. In the morning, we halted for about an hour and a half, when the march re-commenced, and was continued throughout the day, until sunset. We rested for about three hours, and then went on during a second night, and until about ten o'clock the next morning. Throughout the whole of this time, no provisions, or water, were given to the men. After cooking our rations, and resting some hours, we proceeded five miles further, and camped for the night. It was about seven o'clock of the second night, that Golphin, a merchant, was shot: he had long been sick, and had been carried in the sick wagon, as it was called, nearly the whole distance from the River Quintufue to San Miguel-from September 18 to October 12: he continued sick and infirm until the time of his death. One of the Texan soldiers gave him permission to ride, and he was in the act of taking off his shirt to pay for this favor, when some soldiers came up: one of them fired at and wounded him; he ran some yards, crying out to have his life spared, when another soldier shot him dead.
Griffith was killed the same night: he was ill and infirm, in consequence of having been speared by an Indian, at the moment of coming off guard, when we were camped on the Quintufue: he had been permitted to ride in a wagon during the day. His brains were knocked out by a soldier; but it was not ascertained what occurred previous to his being killed. Gates was another sick soldier: he caught cold soon after leaving San Miguel, which was followed by a very severe inflammation of the lungs. A few minutes before his death, a soldier put the end of a musket to his face, and snapped the lock, laughing at the painful effect produced. His body was stripped and thrown into the bushes. There was another man with us of the name of Gates, a Cornish-man, who is alive. The death of these men occurred, between San Miguel and Paso, but there were other scenes on this road, of the most painful kind. Some days no food was distributed, and sometimes only two heads of corn to each man. At Algodonez and San Dia, and their neighborhood, the inhabitants came out and gave the men water-melons, eggs, tortillas and bread, but it was not all who obtained even a part of this charity. When, in the evening, the Captain was asked, if rations would be given, he replied, "No, the men have had excellent grazing to-day." The joke was a cruel one to those who had to wait until the next evening for a meal. Such articles of dress as the men could with decency spare, they exchanged for subsistence. The nights were bitterly cold and they felt the loss of what they parted with. When we reached Paso, most of the men were in a most lamentable state of suffering. Their feet were blistered, many were almost naked, they were broken down with fatigue, and those who could with difficulty walk, were under the apprehension of being shot.
At Paso, the scene changed. The Commandante, Col. Don J. M. Elías Gonzalez, gave assurances of the personal safety of all, and strongly expressed his disapprobation of the outrageous cruelty of Capt. Salazar. He took several of us into his house and acted in a courteous and generous manner. This behaviour influenced many of the citizens, who showed various attentions to the men---and by him was shown the greatest humanity, under whose religious teaching the people lived. The sufferings of the soldiers between Paso and San Christoval [San Cristobal] were incident to the order directing a march of such great length without allowing sufficient intervals of rest-in leaving the necessary supply of shoes to the charity of strangers, and in not making proper provision for the care of the sick. From these causes great hardships were endured, but it may be questioned, if the commanding officers between Paso and San Christoval, willingly added to them. The conduct of Capt. Ochoa from Paso to Cerro Gordo, was always friendly, though properly jealous of his charge. From Cerro Gordo to Tula, with the exception of Guanajuato, Gen. M'Leod, the officers, merchants and guests, were allowed their parole, and permitted to walk about the towns they came to, without restraint---a privilege, however, in consequence of special orders, denied to Señ. Navarro, after we left Zacatecas.
At Chihuahua, five of us were lodged in an old monastic establishment built by the Jesuits. The room we were in, opened into a square or court, where the priest Hidalgo, who first raised the cry of independence in Mexico, was executed. Mr. Dryden, was in confinement near us. He had been arrested upon account of the commission addressed to him, without his knowledge or assent, having been seized with the proclamation of Gen. Lamar and the private instructions of the Commissioners, when Col. Cook[e] was taken. He had been confined in irons. Gen. M'Leod, Señ. Navarro, and Mr. Van Ness, were examined, respecting his presumed participation in the expedition, and exculpated him, but he was not released when we left the city. At Chihuahua, both the divisions were treated with great kindness and hospitality. At Zacatecas, one dollar was given to each man of Gen. M'Leod's division-some new clothing was distributed, six horses, saddled and bridled, were given to the officers, and two wagons engaged to carry the sick to the city of Mexico. At St. Louis Potosi [San Luis Potosi] the English and Germans were liberal in their assistance. At Guannajuato, ten dollars were given to each of the officers and merchants, one dollar to each of the men, and shoes and shirts to those who needed them. By the intervention of Mr. Willett, director of the Mint---the Governor immediately assented to the request that the sick should remain; and this act of humanity, on his part, saved the lives of Capt. Caldwell and others, whose condition was such, that it would have been impossible for them, much longer, to have survived the fatigue of the journey.
Our travels were not without smiles, as well as grave looks. At Queretaro, and in the towns of the state, much amusement was occasioned by our receiving lumps of soap as small change of silver. In other states, current only within their boundaries, are copper coins having a stamp peculiar to each state, dividing the bitt (real) into eights (octavos) and fourths (quartillos). But here, in lieu of copper coins---for the state of Queretaro has none---pieces of soap with a stamp on them are employed. Yet so strictly are they local in their use, that the current soap of one village is refused at places not half a mile distant-well illustrating one of the modes by which substitutes for a metallic currency should be checked in their amount, and the means, however awkward, that will be resorted to in order to satisfy the necessity of a currency. Some of our men found the value of this small change not at all diminished after washing with it; and, probably, the excess of any issue is usually washed up. We left Tula January 31st, and on approaching Guatitlan were met by a large body of cavalry. Señor Navarro was separated from us, and taken on to Mexico. He was first confined in the Convent of San Lorenzo [San Lizaro], and subsequently in the Acordada, or public prison.---No permission is allowed to strangers to visit him.
At Guatitlan our course to Mexico was changed to San Cristoval. At this place we occupied an old palace, now in a miserable state, built by a Duke of Albuquerque [Alburquerque], one of the Viceroys of Mexico. We had not long arrived before Mr. Lumsden was most joyfully hailed. We expected the immediate liberation of Kendall, but fortune was more favorable to others. The next day orders arrived for the release of Mr. Falconer and Mr. Van Ness, who drove into Mexico in the afternoon. Those who were sick among the party at San Cristoval were brought into Mexico, and among them were Messrs. Kendall, J. Howard, Lieut. Burgess and Dr. Whitaker. The rest of the party were taken to Puebla and divided---seventy being left in that town and the remainder taken on to Perote. Here, for the first time after they reached Paso, their detention was accompanied with personal indignities .---They were put in chains, compelled to work in the streets, and allowed only one real (a bitt) to subsist on. It rests not with the President Santa Ana to deny their title to be treated as prisoners of war. They became so by the terms of their surrender made with Col. Andres Archilayte . The direction in the letter of Gen. Armigo that they were to be treated according to the rules and ordinances, was explained by every Mexican officer to mean that they were to receive the treatment of prisoners of war. And in addition to this, the President Santa Ana, himself, in his letter to Col. Bee, says "the prisoners from Santa Fé have been treated according to the usages in cases of prisoners of war." If it is the desire of Santa Ana that they should be so treated, he must be ignorant of their present condition. They who preside over a nation of whose honor and national character they are jealous, know nothing of vindictive feelings upon account of personal wrongs. The position in which fortune has placed the Texan prisoners is clear; and it cannot be said that they have found in the towns of Puebla and Perote, or in the city of Mexico, the humane treatment they are entitled to, and which, there can be little doubt, Mexican prisoners would at this moment receive in Texas.
In conclusion, it may be remarked, that the value of the trade to Santa Fé has been much exaggerated. This town was, formerly, the nearest accessible point to which goods could be brought overland from the States into Mexico; but since the colonization of Texas it is otherwise. The profits, also, obtained in this trade are far from being what they were. The journey from St. Louis, on the Missouri, is exceedingly great, the distance being about 1200 miles; nor is the journey ended when Santa Fé is reached. We passed the long train of wagons of Mr. McGuffin, on their way to Chihuahua, between the Casa Colorada and Hoia. Goods come into the country at a slight duty, compared to that payable on the coast, $500 only, whatever may be the contents, being charged upon each wagon: and it is this privilege which supports this trade. But the real market commences at Chihuahua. This was perfectly well understood by Mr. Connelly, whose enterprising attempt to strike a new road from Red River to Chihuahua, excited so much interest two years since. The country between Paso and Chihuahua has, in the last few years, been almost desolated by Indians, and at every town and hacienda, in the northern part of the State, relations were made to us of the enormous depredations and losses that had been sustained.
The distance from Galveston to the Rio Grande is about three hundred and twenty miles, and from San Antonio de Bexar to the Presidio del Rio Grande to there, is an excellent road. To the south of San Antonio lies Chihuahua. So that the nearest and most accessible route overland, to the centre of Mexico, is through San Antonio. And this overland route is shortened by discharging vessels at Linville, and from thence taking the goods to San Antonio, a distance of about one hundred and forty miles. The western boundary line of Texas, at the time of the declaration of its independence, was understood to be the Nueces; and if this continued to be the western limit, nothing could prevent San Antonio from being an inland depot of much commercial importance, for many years to come. If the Rio Grande shall be the western limit, the goods will, of course, be carried at once to some settlement on this side of the river.
Numerous parties of Mexican traders have been, for a long time, accustomed to come into San Antonio, from the Rio Grande. They were generally very honest in their payments, and showed a very friendly spirit. Had this trade been protected as it should have been, by putting down cow-stealers and mere robbers, nothing could have prevented it from being of more value than any trade to Santa Fé. Recognised or unrecognised, Texas could have carried on the trade; merchants would have settled in the west to participate in it; immigrants would have collected in the district, where the soil is rich, and the climate as healthy and as agreeable as that of any part of the world-where labor, the great want of new settlers, is cheap, for the labor of Mexicans is easily obtained;-and the customs-duties payable to the government, and the greatest source of its revenue, would have largely increased. It is true, the trade would have been illicit; but it would have been the inevitable consequence of a high and ill-regulated Mexican tariff. It would, nevertheless, have conciliated the population of the Rio Grande towards Texas, and would ultimately have forced upon the Mexican government the establishment of friendly relations. The concentration of the resources of Texas, the protection of all parts of its trade, and the strengthening of its institutions, should have been the first object of its public authorities; and the results would have been shown in the establishment of a wealthy and thickly settled western frontier. The present struggle will, it is to be hoped, only for a time interrupt this policy. The extension of territory, and the possession of the Rio Grande, may then be consequences, not probably opposed to the wishes of those who will not fail to compare the advantages of orderly and settled institutions to the insecurity and evils of the military institutions of Mexico.